Monday, September 17, 2012

The Great Geek Sexism Debate

My friend Stephanie sent me this really interesting article from io9: The Great Geek Sexism Debate. It summarizes three incidents at recent conventions that have lead to "very public discussions about sexism and sexual harassment" in the nerd/geek community. If you haven't already, click through and read the article. I found it to be quite informative and remarkably unbiased. And in trolling the interwebs I found this article with ALL THE LINKS to information on other incidents of sexism/harassment in gaming, nerd/geek culture as a whole, and comic books: Sexism in Geek Culture, with a look at Comics. Careful, this last one isn't safe for work productivity - I've already spent a good portion of my day following various stories down their respective rabbit holes.

In general, my sense of nerd/geek sexism is this: a few bad actors are extremely vocal/aggressive, while most of us just want to get back to our games, books, movies, whatever. Many would be satisfied with at "Don't Feed the Trolls" policy of ignoring inappropriate people and hoping they'll go away. But by not sending a message of zero tolerance for sexism/harassment, we allow for these things to happen again and again. If we as a community are really committed to inclusion and openness - as we should be - we've got to get past this. IMHO, the best way of going about that is not national campaigns or public statements. For gamers it starts at the table, with being able to look someone in the eyes and say, "What you just said? Not cool."

Quote of the Week: "It takes a great deal of bravery to stand up to your enemies, but a great deal more to stand up to your friends." - Albus Dumbledore

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